Now open: A new Dallas bar from the folks behind Uchi

Though restaurants Uchi and Top Knot in Uptown Dallas were owned by the same company, the concepts felt more like cousins than siblings.

If the former, a revered Japanese spot, were a music student at Juilliard, the latter would have been its spunky relative in a punk rock band. In fact, if diners didn't know the restaurants, which resided on two floors in the same building, were from the same family, they may not have guessed — save for the fact they both served Asian food.

Top Knot (upstairs) closed in mid-January to make way for Uchiba, a Japanese bar and eatery that is very much an extension of Uchi. It opened Jan. 31, essentially adding 140 seats to owner and executive chef Tyson Cole's renowned haunt downstairs.

Uchiba's space includes an indoor dining room (pictured) as well as a small patio. The restaurant is located in the space above Uchi.

That's not to say the restaurants are exactly the same. Chef de cuisine Alex Astranti, who developed the new menu, did include some of Uchi's staples, such as the karaage (chicken thigh with sweet chili and pickles; $10.50), Brussels sprouts ($7.50), hirame usuzukuri (thinly-sliced flounder with candied quinoa; $16.50) and zero sen (yellowtail with avocado, cilantro and shallot; $12.50). Sushi and sashimi, such as namahotate (dayboat scallop; $5.50) and akami (tuna loin; $5-$26), also make an appearance on the upstairs menu.

But as part of the effort to differentiate the two concepts, Uchiba renovations included the installation of a yakitori grill, so guests can order shareable skewer plates, such as elotes ($6), pork belly ($9), prawn ($14) and king trumpet mushroom ($6.50). There are also bar bites like the tiger cry bao (pork belly steam bun; $7.50) and yuca chips ($9) that are available exclusively at Uchiba.

The Jungle Bird cocktail at Uchiba is a rum drink with lychee, Thai basil and lime.

Another major difference: Where Uchi serves primarily beer, wine and sake, Uchiba has a full bar and new cocktail menu.

Highlights include the Ticket to Tokyo ($14), a mix of Japanese whiskey, peach, ginger and lemon, and the Jungle Bird ($11), featuring dark rum, lychee, Thai basil and lime.

Uchiba is the first of its kind for Hai Hospitality, which manages Uchi locations in Dallas, Austin, Houston and Denver, as well as Uchiko and the forthcoming Asian smokehouse Loro in Austin.

For Dallas diners looking for an extra seat when Uchi's bar downstairs is full, it's a welcome addition to the family.

See more pictures of Uchiba:

Uchiba is open Monday through Thursday from 5 to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to midnight, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The restaurant begins serving brunch (Sundays only) on Feb. 4.

Goes Well With...

#

Uchiba

#Food and Drink

Uptown Dallas restaurant Top Knot has closed; new bar is on its way 

#Food and Drink

First look: Uchi Dallas seriously raises the bar for sushi in Big D

#Restaurant Reviews

At Uchi, the scene still sizzles, but the 'wow' factor fizzles

#Food and Drink

Best in DFW: Japanese restaurants that really rock

#Food and Drink

From aji to zuke: a glossary of Japanese foods

#Food and Drink

Dallas’ Japanese dining scene is more exciting than ever

#Food and Drink

The ultimate Japanese food-lovers' guide to Dallas

#Food and Drink

Beyond the crazy roll: How to be a sushi sophisticate

>